Publications

I have published in contemporary European philosophy: political and social philosopy, environmental philosophy and feminist philosophy. With a background in comparative literature, literary theory and art history, as well as fluency in six languages, my basic approach is multilingual, comparatist and interdisciplinary. At the heart of my research lies the question social transformation today.


Monographs

The turn of the Millennium demonstrated a fully-fledged revival and fusion of various left-wing social movements with differing agendas. Movements for women's, black, indigenous, LGTB and animal liberation as well as ecological, anti-nuclear and anti-war groups unified against the global capital. Considering the diverse emphases of these movements, is there a philosophical framework that could help us understand their nature and their modes of operation in the 21st century? This book offers a set of new conceptual tools to do that. It proposes a theoretical model of ‘slow’ social transformation - a modality of social change that explicitly differs from the irruptive model of a revolution - and provides two concepts of ‘mimetic contagion’ and ‘solidarity with singularity’ which allow us to understand what is currently happening in the activist milieu. By bringing together some of today’s most important thinkers, including Judith Butler, René Girard, Alain Badiou, and Peter Sloterdijk, this book suggests a philosophical lens to look at the alternative living projects that contemporary left-wing activists undertake in practice. At the heart of their projects lie the pressing concerns that these contemporary philosophers currently debate. Breaking from the conceptual apparatus of the Marxian tradition, Theorizing Contemporary Anarchism: Solidarity, Mimesis and Radical Social Change (Bloomsbury, 2017) takes Hegelian concepts and feeds them through the thought of contemporary theorists in order to form an original, productive, and inclusive scaffold with which to understand today’s world of social and political movements.

Journal articles

  • “Coarticulation: Mutual Transformation in Human and Nonhuman Relations” (forthcoming in SubStance, Summer 2024)

“Representation” and “articulation” are important terms in discussions of multispecies relations. In this paper, I propose the term “coarticulation” that describes a process of mutual intelligibility between a human and a nonhuman and of rendering each other capable in new ways. This article argues that the concept of “coarticulation” offers a way to enrich our understanding of our human-nonhuman relations and to give ontological consistency to various types of nonhumans that matter to us. It traces the reciprocal imprints that nonhumans and humans make on each other. Not least, it provides an alternative way to think about politics with nonhumans: a politics of cohabitation.

  • “The Janus Face of Cosmopolitics: The Concept of Universality in Isabelle Stengers and Bruno Latour” (forthcoming in Philosophy Today 68.3, Spring 2024)

Scholars in multispecies ethnography, the ontological turn, new materialisms, science and technology studies (STS), assemblage urbanism and other movements within broadly considered posthumanities often treat cosmopolitics, initially proposed by Isabelle Stengers and subsequently taken up by Bruno Latour, as a single coherent concept. However, Stengers’ cosmopolitics differs considerably from Latour’s. The difference is most clearly visible in their contrasting positions on the concept of universality. Even though their divergence on universality could be considered a minor philosophical dispute among intellectual allies, it should not be underestimated. It determines what sort of political practice each of these philosophers envisions with cosmopolitics. Their visions of political practice are substantially different. This article examines Latour’s and Stengers’ diverging positions on universality, delineates the two types of cosmopolitics, and, finally, analyzes what sort of political practice each of these cosmopolitics implies.

The article examines the internal tensions in Jacques Rancière’s conceptualization of equality in order to explore the possibility of including nonhumans in his politics. It demonstrates how Rancière sketches the contours of two different equalities, one in human politics and the other in literature, and how these equalities exponentially multiply and contradict each other. The first part of the article focuses on the diverse meanings and paradoxes of equality in Rancière’s writing on human politics. Notably, it points out a paradox with regard to Rancière’s interpretation of Aristotelian logos that, to some extent, undercuts his explicit rejection of nonhumans as possible political subjects. In the second part, the article argues that Rancière’s turn to literature to deal with a “politics of matter” was perhaps not necessary, if we consider the parameters of his philosophical framework. The article argues that, if we take Rancière’s concept of politics to its logical conclusion, we have to include nonhumans too. It shows how the internal tensions between various paradigms of equality can be productively explored for nonhumans and politics alike. The main claim of this article is that Rancière’s philosophy, with its tacit assumptions and internal logic, can be made to think nonhuman politics without a detour into literature.

Recent debates within broadly considered posthumanities have been populated by various conceptual personae. One such figure is the diplomat. First proposed in this context by Isabelle Stengers in her Cosmopolitics series, the diplomat has been subsequently taken up and further developed by Bruno Latour, particularly in his AIME project, and most recently by Baptiste Morizot in Les Diplomates. This article traces the metamorphosis of this conceptual character in the work of Stengers, Latour and Morizot. As all three versions are relatively close to each other, this article proposes three companion figures: the heretic (for Stengers), the designer (for Latour) and the amateur (for Morizot) that allow us to carefully examine the differences between, and the specific stakes of, each iteration of the diplomat. Furthermore, the article critically evaluates the theoretical pertinence of the diplomat figure for each philosopher’s project and considers its potential for thinking about the future of our more-than- human worlds.

This article offers an in-depth analysis of the concept of translation in Bruno Latour’s oeuvre – an ambiguous and constantly morphing term. It considers the various conceptual reformulations of translation throughout his writing, concentrating on its fundamental importance for the operation of his modes of existence. A special emphasis is put on the influence of A. J. Greimas’s semiotics on Latour’s theoretical framework. The aim here is to trace how translation is different from transformation, and why it remains a core concept in Latour’s work, despite the fact that he strays far beyond the confines of linguistics alone in his theorisation.

In recent years, scholars in broadly considered posthumanities have attempted to reconceptualize politics in order to better account for the role of nonhuman entities in political processes. In this context, the article instantiates a dialogue between Jacques Rancière and Bruno Latour on one of the fundamental questions of politics, that is, the question of logos. Even though Latour and Rancière differ considerably in their theoretical and political orientations, each of them revisits the question of “who can speak?” in order to examine the ways in which speechless entities gain a voice, thereby becoming intelligible as political entities. In this article, I confront Rancière’s reservations about nonhumans as political agents, showing how Latour offers pathways beyond Rancière’s apparent bias towards the human, a bias that is, I argue, fundamentally contradictory to the latter’s broader conceptualization of politics as aesthetics. I formulate a Latourian rebuttal of Rancière’s reservations and analyse the utility of Latour’s thought in overcoming Rancière’s limitations. Latour’s reorientation of logos towards the concept of ‘articulation’ makes it possible to evacuate, to some extent, the human exceptionalism from Rancière’s philosophy. Combining Latour with Rancière permits to fundamentally rearticulate the parameters of left-wing thinking about nonhumans.

This contribution explores the question of political subjectivation in both René Girard and Jacques Rancière’s work. In his recent engagement with Axel Honneth, Rancière clarifies his position on suffering and its importance for political emancipation. In response to Honneth’s claim that suffering is the key catalyst of political action, Rancière advances a thesis that it is not suffering itself but a different form of suffering that leads people towards emancipation. In his archival work on 19th century workers’ movements, he demonstrates that workers learned a new way to suffer through literature they studied in their spare time. The impulse for emancipatory political action did not come only from the fact of enduring hunger, low wages and poverty, but from learning a new, bourgeois form of experience through reading certain types of literature, like Chateaubriand’s René. In this contribution, I explore Rancière’s thesis on a new form of suffering from Girard’s mimetic perspective. I examine the appropriation of mimetic models by 19th century proletarians in Rancière’s work to become new political subjects. The contribution productively engages with political potential of Girard’s mimetic theory and at the same time explores mimetic aspects of Rancière’s thought.

The question of solidarity is an important one for anarchism. However, to date solidarity as a concept has not been given the philosophical attention it deserves. In this paper I wish to fill in this gap in the anarchist literature and discuss solidarity from the perspective of Peter Sloterdijk’s work. I will examine the key features of Sloterdijk’s theory of spheres and claim that his spherology can be useful for thinking about solidarity in the context of anarchism. Sloterdijk’s work also allows for a theoretical support of the anarchist idea of slow, everyday transformation that is often contrasted with its main counter model for social change – revolution. It also offers an alternative to the usual philosophical reference that anarchists turn to in order to describe anarchist collectives, that is, Félix Guattari and Gilles Deleuze’s rhizomes. Although not an anarchist himself, Sloterdijk provides a theoretical framework to understand and constructively think about anarchism and contemporary anarchist movements.

This article attempts to respond to the fractional presence of feminist discourse around René Girard’s theory of mimetic desire. First, I briefly examine the relevant critical stands on mimesis, and then proceed to rehabilitate it for feminism via an analysis of Judith Butler’s theory of performative gender. By bringing together selected aspects of Girard and Butler’s work, it is possible to build a constructive dialogue between the two thinkers. The theories of Butler and Girard can be productively read together in order to explore new ways of thinking about gender. I show that the “failure” in mimesis, that is the constant approximation to the perfect imitation, guarantees unrestricted differentiation in gender. This combination of Girard and Butler aims to open up Girardian theory to exchanges with feminism, queer and transgender studies. In the second part of this article I present a case study featuring Sigmund Freud’s masculine “little girl.” There I demonstrate how a Girardian reading solves theoretical problems that both Freud and Butler encounter in interpreting this masculine “little girl.” I argue that Girard’s theory of mimesis offers Butler new possibilities for thinking about gender and identification. My claim is that the psychoanalytical framework that Butler draws upon is the cause of theoretical impasses that she encounters and that Girard’s theory allows for overcoming these deadlocks.

This article sets out to examine the rhetoric of narrative as an instrument of power in a 19th century bestseller by Adolphe Belot Mademoiselle Giraud, ma femme (1870). The central question of Belot’s novel revolves around the crime of lesbian sexuality. It contrasts the idealized, socially prescribed heterosexual relationship of a married couple with a lesbian liaison depicted in the novel. This paper demonstrates how the prevalent male homosocial discourse shapes the narrative and how the narrator reverts to a “hyper-heterosexual narration” in order to give legitimacy to his story and his desires.

The purpose of this article is twofold. First, it aims to confront Hegel’s ideas on the interaction between universality, particularity and singularity with those of Judith Butler and to show that Butler’s universal is dynamic and infinitely self-renewing. Second, it aims to engage with Butler’s politics of translation and to demonstrate how a Levinasian perspective on Hegelian dialectics changes the functioning of the universal. In relation to this claim, the article also demonstrates how the structural failure in translation and performativity allows for the constant circulation of the universal and, as a consequence, brings about social and political transformation.

Fredric Jameson, in his Foreword to the English translation of Greimas’ “On Meaning”, states that “the Greimassian semiotics…[is], pragmatically, richly usable and full of practical development” (in Greimas 1987, xxii). How valid this statement is can be partly recognized in the following article. Its principal aim is to explore the conditions of discourse in Bruno Schulz’s collection of short stories entitled Sklepy Cynamonowe. For this purpose I work with the semiotic theory developed by Algirdas Julien Greimas and apply it to the selected stories by Bruno Schulz: “Ptaki” (Birds) and “Karakony” (Cockroaches). I demonstrate how Schulz’s fiction explores the elementary structures of signification proposed by Greimas, how it transgresses them and effectively subverts the apparent unity of the model. This is demonstrated through an analysis of the Father figure.


Chapters in edited volumes

Encyclopaedia entries

  • “Anarchism” Encyclopaedia of the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy, eds. Mortimer Sellers, Stephan Kirste, Dordrecht: Springer (2023) doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6730-0_1081-1

Book reviews